Louisiana news briefs
Police: Man killed in New Orleans was targeted
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Investigators believe drugs were the motive behind a drive-by shooting that killed a man and a teenager and wounded five other people, New Orleans’ police chief said Monday.
Two victims were out of the hospital but three — a 32-year-old woman and boys 2 and 4 years old — remained in critical condition, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
“Children should be, ought to be and will be off limits,” Serpas said.
Terrance McBride, the 33-year-old man who was slain Sunday, was the target and had a gun, police said. The other people were just innocent bystanders, the police chief said.
The Crimestoppers hotline has received a number of tips in response to a $5,000 reward, said the group’s local president, Darlene Cusanza. Officials asked anyone who knows anything about the shooting to call Crimestoppers or police.
Jindal seeks to have Common Core lawsuit dismissed
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The politically-heated dispute over Louisiana’s use of the Common Core education standards is scheduled for its first hearing before a state district judge.
Today’s hearing involves a lawsuit filed by parents and teachers who support Common Core and accuse the governor of violating the Louisiana Constitution in his actions against the multi-state standards.
Jindal, who opposes Common Core, is asking Judge Todd Hernandez to dismiss much of the lawsuit. His lawyer also wants the judge to forbid depositions of the governor, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols and other administration officials.
Most members of the state education board support Common Core, and the board has joined the lawsuit against Jindal. The lawsuit claims the governor overstepped his authority in suspending testing contracts to stop the purchase of Common Core-aligned testing material.
Seth Fontenot’s trial on murder charge delayed
LAFAYETTE (AP) — Seth Fontenot’s trial on charges of murder and attempted murder has been delayed for a fourth time when a Cameron Parish judge agreed to push the trial from Sept. 22 to Dec. 1.
Retired District Judge Hadley Ward Fontenot signed off on the delay Monday while sitting in for Judge Edward Rubin, who was unable to preside at a hearing. That hearing also was delayed and has been rescheduled for Sept. 22.
Fontenot was an 18-year-old freshman accounting major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette when he allegedly shot and killed 15-year-old Austin Rivault on Feb. 10, 2013.
The other boys also were hit and sustained minor injuries. Fontenot said he believed the youths were trying to break into his truck.
Man admits Metairie home invasion; gets 54½ years
GRETNA (AP) — A 22-year-old New Orleans man has admitted forcing his way into an elderly couple’s Metairie home, robbing them and sexually assaulting their live-in nurse.
Charles Adams then was sentenced Monday to 54½ years in prison for armed robbery, aggravated burglary, second-degree kidnapping, sexual battery and illegal possession of a gun.
Adams still awaits trial in New Orleans, where he’s accused of committing two similar crimes within weeks of the Metairie home invasion.
In the Metairie case, Adams admitted he was one of three men who on Aug. 31, 2011, at 3 a.m. forced their way into the home and demanded money. Authorities have not identified the other two gunmen.
The homeowners were both 82 at the time, and the wife has since died. The nurse, then 58, had only $5 in her purse, so she was forced to drive to an automatic teller machine, prosecutors said in court documents.
Audit finds financial mismanagement at USS Kidd
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The agency that oversees Baton Rouge’s USS Kidd, the centerpiece of the Louisiana Naval War Memorial, has been flagged by an audit for a history of financial mismanagement.
The audit found a debt of more than $300,000 for unpaid insurance premiums.
The audit, released Monday by the state Legislative Auditor’s office, also notes that the last three years of spending under the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission is being investigated by the Inspector General’s Office.
The audit also took issue with a lack of management oversight and proper documentation for expenditures.
In December, Alex Juan took over the agency, and she says agency staff is working diligently to implement new responsible spending practices and get its budget back into the black.
Nearly 300 pounds of pot found in traffic stop
HAMMOND (AP) — Two people were in custody, one in Louisiana and one in Mississippi Monday, after Louisiana State Police said troopers found nearly 300 pounds of marijuana in the back of a man’s car following a traffic stop near Hammond.
Authorities stopped Carlos Davis, 26, of Greenwood, Mississippi, on Interstate 12 eastbound near its intersection with Interstate 55 for a traffic violation about 9 a.m. Sunday.
Sgt. Nick Manale said Davis refused consent to search the car, so troopers called out a police dog from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. The dog alerted troopers to the presence of drugs. Troopers then found the marijuana, with an estimated street value of $250,000, in the back seat and rear cargo area of the 2015 Mazda CX-5.
Davis was booked with one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. It was not immediately known if he was in jail or whether he has an attorney.
Layoffs of Louisiana state employees tapering off
BATON ROUGE (AP) — After six years of state worker layoffs, no rank-and-file state employees have been targeted for pink slips this budget year.
That’s according to the Department of Civil Service, which issued its latest monthly report on layoffs Monday.
Nearly 8,400 classified state employees — those who have civil service job protections and aren’t at-will political appointees — have been laid off since 2008, as the state struggled with repeated budget gaps and Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed to shrink the size of state government.
But this year’s budget, which took effect July 1, didn’t target any classified positions for layoffs, according to the report.
Most of last year’s 2,300 layoffs involved workers at LSU hospitals privatized by Jindal. Many were rehired by private hospital managers, though not necessarily at the same salary.